Rising Missouri sophomore Jontay Porter, the younger brother of 2018 lottery pick Michael Porter Jr., suffered a torn ACL and MCL at a secret scrimmage against Southern Illinois on Sunday. He will miss the entirety of the 2018-19 season.
The injury marks the second time in as many seasons that a Porter will not be healthy for the Tigers. Last year, just two minutes into his Missouri career, former No. 1 overall recruit Michael Porter Jr. sustained a back injury that required surgery. He missed all of the regular season for the Tigers, and never got healthy enough to live up to the hype that came with his arrival.
Last season as a freshman for Missouri, the younger Porter, who was originally a Class of 2018 recruit but chose to reclassify to play college ball with his brother, popped on tape and displayed talents worthy of strong consideration by the NBA. In averaging 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest in 24.5 minutes of action per game, he tested the NBA waters and could potentially have been selected in the 2018 NBA Draft. However with hopes of improving his stock and skill set ahead of a generally weaker draft, Porter returned to Missouri. He's been widely considered a first-round talent for the 2019 draft.
The injury throws a wrench into that projection, however. He came back to college because he didn't get the draft grade he'd hoped for, and without more tape ahead of the 2019 draft -- and without an opportunity to likely be fully recovered by the combine -- he'll be faced with a tough decision on whether to stay or go.
Missouri finished 20-13 last season and lost to Florida State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, yet with Porter, Kevin Puryear and Jeremiah Tilmon returning, were expected to again compete for a shot in the Big Dance. With Porter out for the year, it could make that expectation more difficult to accomplish as the Tigers enter Year Two under coach Cuonzo Martin.